Officers saw missing 5-year-old in Sept 2019’: Police chief on Harmony Montgomery case
Adam Montgomery has remained absent from his own murder trial over the murder of his five-year-old daughter Harmony in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Mr Montgomery’s trial is under way more than four years after Harmony was last seen alive in 2019.
Authorities failed to search for the missing child – who was known to protective services – for more than two years after she went missing.
Kayla Montgomery told police that her husband struck the little girl several times after she had a bathroom accident.
The little girl’s remains were first hidden in a ceiling vent at a shelter where the family stayed after her death. Montgomery snuck the remains into his workplace freezer, before disposing of them in March 2020.
On Wednesday, jurors were shown a cut-out blood-stained piece of ceiling drywall where Harmony’s remains were once stored.
“As soon as I removed the cover, I could smell what I knew was decomposition,” former Manchester police detective Scott Reily said. “I could smell what I believed to be a dead body.”
Harmony’s remains have never been found.
Adam Montgomery pins blame for Harmony’s murder on ex-wife in dramatic opening statement
On Thursday, Montgomery’s lawyer gave a dramatic preview of the line of defence they will be pursuing during trial. During opening statement, attorney James Brooks claimed that it was Kayla Montgomery, his client’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother, who last saw the little girl alive.
Mr Brooks went on to say that Kayla Montgomery had created a web of lies to put the blame on her husband and that Adam Montgomery had merely agreed to destroy evidence to “protect” his wife and keep custody of their young children.
Father has said he intends to plead guilty to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information, but denies killing his daughter
Harmony Montgomery’s father posted ‘loving’ social media post two years before allegedly punching her to death
The abuse that Harmony endured at the hands of her father emerged during the trial, with Kayla telling the court that the little girl was kept hidden under a blanket to cover her bruised body and bloodied face from the beatings.
Kayla also told jurors that Montgomery had “worked” to obtain custody, and recounted how they both helped decorate Harmony’s Mickey Mouse-themed bedroom before she came to live with them.
‘My beautiful baby girl,’ Adam Montgomery wrote in a 2017 post
Rampant abuse, damning DNA evidence and a ‘betrayal’ prison letter: Harmony Montgomery trial’s key revelations
Harmony disappeared in 2019, but police didn’t know she was missing until two years later, when her mother publicly demanded an investigation after months of failed attempts to get in touch with Montgomery.
Montgomery’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery later came forward with allegations that he fatally hit Harmony in the head after she soiled herself while the family was travelling in a car. Kayla and Adam Montgomery’s then-infant sons were also inside the vehicle, where the family had been living after being evicted from their home in November 2019.
What followed were two years of disturbing plots to hide Harmony’s decomposing body. Montgomery finally disposed of it at an unknown location in March 2020.
Harmony’s remains have never been found.
Here are some of the key revelations that have emerged in court during the first two weeks of trial:
GRAPHIC WARNING. Adam Montgomery’s trial has heard disturbing revelations surrounding his daughter’s December 2019 death
WATCH: Ex-police officer describes processing car which Harmony Montgomery was murdered in
Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother’s ‘betrayal letter’ revealed
Kayla Montgomery, the prosecution’s key witness, took the stand on Friday to testify about the way her husband allegedly murdered his five-year-old daughter Harmony in December 2019. Kayla, Harmony’s stepmother, is serving an 18-month prison sentence on perjury charges for lying to police about Harmony’s whereabouts.
Adam Montgomery denies killing his five-year-old daughter
Court adjourned for the day
The proceedings will resume tomorrow morning.
Adam Montgomery trial is shown red cooler where Harmony’s body was stored
Martin Orlowicz gave testimony about the prints found on the red cooler where Harmony’s body was initially stored.
Mr Orlowicz also took samples from the blood-stained ceiling drywall that was cut out from the shelter where Adam and Kayla Montgomery and their two sons stayed after Harmony died.
Manchester police evidence technician Rachel Radwych told jurors that she processed the cut-out blood-stain ceiling tile.
Court takes lunch recess
Proceedings will resume in an hour.
Trial sees blood-stained ceiling drywall
Manchester police detective Ray Lamy showed jurors a portion of the blood-stained ceiling drywall where Harmony’s remains were hidden.